One of the biggest fears about cutting the cable and satellite cord, is that you won’t be able to watch your favorite sports. But football fans have an option that lets them keep up on football action. This is also a great option for viewers whose favorite teams are never on the air in their area.

DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket service returns again this year to bring live, out-of-market NFL regular season games to viewers without commercials (via Fox and CBS) for about $280 (prices vary depending on service/devices)…no satellite required, but an account is needed (username, password, etc.).

Viewers can enjoy this service in full High Definition (HD) for as many as 14 out-of-market games every Sunday during the 17-week regular season (no NBC Sunday night games, no ESPN Monday night game or NFL Network/CBS/Amazon Prime streaming Thursday night games). Packages start at $24.99 per month for four months (September through December). Students can get a free trial and slightly lower rate when signing up at https://nflst.directv.com/student. The technical and customer service has been great. In light of recent viewer dissatisfaction with player protests during the national anthem, DirecTV has given full refunds to the service as well.

Viewers can enjoy this service from 1 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m. EDT every Sunday using two main venues – the 13-year old Red Zone Channel, a game mix channel that shows every Sunday afternoon game simultaneously on one screen hosted by Andrew Siciliano, and the Fantasy Zone Channel that focuses more on the individual players and team statistics featuring celebrity guest hosts for the plentiful and popular fantasy football leagues.

The Red Zone Channel coverage often expands to four screens when each game has an important event or has field position on the 20-yard line or closer (thus, the “red zone” title). Siciliano multitasks well so viewers get the information they want while still hearing the exciting sounds on the field without any commercial interruption. Siciliano and his impressive team also quickly cut-away when the Fox or CBS station starts a commercial. It’s an appealing flow of sports action and information without any need to change the channel or switch the channel when an inappropriate commercial starts in front of the kids.

Other important features include the ability to replay specific footage and view overall highlights. Viewers can also follow their NFL.com fantasy players in real-time through the service in a Favorites List that provides instant alerts every time they make a big play (Note: for Amazon devices, available on Fire Tablet, not Fire TV).

After 23 years of DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket, the service works great with only two disconnections and rare pauses when buffering after two Sundays of use (via the PlayStation 4 game console with the approximately 370 MB DirecTV Sunday Ticket app installed, which is then housed in the “TV & Video” section). Only had to fill-in the log-in information once and never got logged out of my account. Hardline/ethernet connections work best and it’s a good idea to test your connection and turn off unused devices during viewing times each Sunday.

DirecTV’s exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket service is available on the Internet via tablets, smartphones, game consoles (like the PlayStation 4) and other devices plus JetBlue Airways’ continental U.S. flights. International services include DAZN (Canada), SKY Mexico (Mexico, Latin America) and DirecTV Latin America and various cable providers (The Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean).

The 2017 NFL Sunday Ticket service included at no extra cost with CHOICE™ package and above. Subscription renews automatically each season at then prevailing rate (currently $281.94/season) unless you call to cancel prior to the start of the season.

~ Mike Siebenaler